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what counts as "quality time" with your LO?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I never quite got the hang of quality time with small babies when my daughter was tiny. As newborns, you know they're happy to be snuggled. When they're bigger and playing, you can play/sing/talk to interact. But when they're still kinda floppy yet social, do you feel bad being on your computer, watching tv, or reading while with your quiet and alert LO? Sometimes I feel bad like maybe I'm ignoring her, but then I'm like maybe she is content and I'm stressing over nothing. Of course I spend time tickling, kissing and connecting with her, but not all the time. Then I think, historically moms had to work in the fields or on the house and I'm sure they didn't stress about constantly making eye contact with their small babies. So I'm wondering, what do YOU think about interacting with your baby from, let's say, 2 mo to 6 mo? How much/what do you do? What do you think is ok in terms of parallel activities? What counts as ignoring your baby?
post #2 of 16
I've been thinking this too and it's one of those things I always wonder if I should be doing more. I am great at the newborn stage and the older baby stage but the 4 or 5 months in between... not so much.
Sophie lately has been up for an hour or so in between naps so when she wakes up, I feed her, change her and love on her (smiles, talking and playing) but then I put her on the floor or in her bouncy chair to explore her surroundings. This doesn't mean that I leave her in the other room while I tidy up, play with her brother, hang out with her sister or veg. I'm usually right beside her and will say hi to her every few minutes. If she's content with all this.. than I think what I'm doing must be right for her.
I think my struggles with guilt is because my ds was/is so high needs and I always had to enterain him (either with boob, rocking/swaying, singing, etc) so I'm not used to NOT doing that constantly.
post #3 of 16
It was tough for me w/my first, too. I wasn't working at all, so I spent a lot of time hanging out with a mothering group - just sitting around talking, eating, holding our babies. I feel like just holding an alert baby while talking to other adults to be really good quality time because there's lots for them to watch, lots of energy going around, and they get some direct attention in there, too.

Husband and I trade him back and forth and talk to him, he coos and gurgles back. We play all the little games suggested on BabyCenter like show him finger puppets, let him smell spices, whisper in his ear through a toilet paper tube, drag him around on his tummy on a blanket, etc.. I show him himself in the mirror. I took him outside a few times when it's warm. I read him books.

I often put on Pandora [I made a Raffi/Laurie Berkner/Woodie Guthrie station for him] and we sing and dance around.

I try to fold the laundry, etc. with him in the sling, but I'm 5'2"...it's hard to reach past him and do things.

Sometimes he likes to watch his mobile for a while.

I do spend a little time on the computer or watching tv, but honestly I mostly do that when he's asleep or nursing. I mean, I spend A LOT of time on computer or tv, but not when he's quiet alert. We do tend to spend some time watching Three's Company at 4am if I'm super tired. At 4 am he often wakes up for 1-2 hours consisting of diaper, nursing, quiet alert, and walking him back to sleep. I can walk in a circle in my house around the central stairway through kitchen dining and livingroom, so nice.

In our childbirth class way back when, she said, don't *do* the baby. Do your life, while holding the baby. Don't know if I'm very successful with that. I think part of it is a lot of my life is me sitting at the computer - maybe this concept works better with physical activity, like doing the shopping, [working in the fields] whatever.

Sometimes I feel like he would be content just sitting there staring into space, and I'm creating the stress and creating a child who can't just chill. Other times, he truly is fussy just sitting there.
post #4 of 16
NAK most of the time during the day I carry him around (or wear him) while I try to do chores. I try to talk to him as I do things and I think he enjoys it. I do set him down near me sometimes when I fold laundry and let him watch. He seems to like it for a while and I pick him up if he gets fussy. I only get to do computer time when he is nursing or napping next to me, or if DH has him. He would watch his mobile or be in a swing for 5-15 minutes sometimes and I use it to get something done. The hardest part is finding time to concentrate on work. I have so much to do still for my degree and it's all on the computer which is not something I can do while he wants to interact.
We do spend a lot of little moments playing, pottying, looking at mirrors and talking, but I always feel like I should be doing that more.
post #5 of 16
so glad to see this. i've been thinking about starting a thread asking how to play with a baby. seriously. i'm not sure what i should be doing to help him explore and to help entertain him.
post #6 of 16
I do try and spend time with him. It's different because my first was also one that had to be held all the time. I am not use to a baby that lets me put him down. I had him outside on a blanket today while running around with my DD and I joked with my DH that the dingo's where going to get him. He was so content and quiet. My daughter would have screamed and screamed. That said, I have to put him down at times because I do also have my daughter to interact with. I guess the second child just can't possibly have as much attention as the first. We coo and sing and sometimes dance and then I put him down in his swing and go play with my DD. I am at least happy to see and hear him laughing while in the swing and at least he can watch us.
post #7 of 16
I try not to worry about it too much.

I find that our most fun times are when I'm changing her diaper. I make a real effort to interact a whole lot during that special time.

The rest of the time my attention is divided between a 3.5ya, a 1.5yo and the baby...and I'm trying hard not to sucumb to the mother guilt

it is what it is...I figure that the attention that they don't get from me, they get from another sibling...and there are certain things that simply *NEED* to get done during the day.

I remember my mom being very busy, but I also know with every fibre of my being that she loved us....*that* is what I want my kids to grow up with.

cheers,
charlene
post #8 of 16
I try to take a bath and give a massage to the baby every day, because we both really enjoy it. As a mther of two, though, I spend a lot more energy trying to connect to my three year old, who's finding the transition really tough, rather than the newborn.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
This is reassuring, thanks everyone!
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by geo_girl View Post
I'm trying hard not to sucumb to the mother guilt

it is what it is...I figure that the attention that they don't get from me, they get from another sibling...and there are certain things that simply *NEED* to get done during the day.
This is what I'm figuring too. I know he gets a kick out of watching big sister and the dog. I try to spend a few minutes at least (5-10) out of every one of his awake and happy periods making faces and noises at him, getting Nigella to come over and say hi and make sure we're really interacting in some way or other. Otherwise, I let him do his thing.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by akat View Post
We play all the little games suggested on BabyCenter like show him finger puppets, let him smell spices, whisper in his ear through a toilet paper tube, drag him around on his tummy on a blanket, etc.. I show him himself in the mirror.
omg, these are great ideas! am gonna check out babycenter as well!
post #12 of 16
I'm so happy to read that you can have a high needs child and then another that isn't.

I've read baby books that say to interact with your baby, don't just let it sit in the swing or lie in the crib. Wha? I literally didn't know how to interpret it because my DD won't let me put her down. She would scream and scream if I did so. She's been living in the moby wrap as that is the only place she is content (mostly, anyway).

I've been joking that she won't have any siblings because there is no way I couldn't handle a second baby like her.

Anyway, the only time she is quiet alert is during diaper changing. That's when we get the majority of our interactions.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSomm View Post
I'm so happy to read that you can have a high needs child and then another that isn't.
That's how our kids have turned out .
post #14 of 16

What is it about

the diaper change.

Anything can be wrong, but get her naked on the table for a diaper change and she is one happy girl.

You can read to a baby and other children.

Our sitter does roll call in the morning and every child has a name song.
Food
Then baby sign time
bilble story time
song
song
play
read
rest
food
floor play
music
floor play
nap
home

That is Laura's day at the sitter and she is tired.

With me at night--breastfeeding, sing play in bouncy seat, sit in kitchen while I cook, sometimes the computer and diaper changes as well as when it is her brother's story time.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSomm View Post
I've been joking that she won't have any siblings because there is no way I couldn't handle a second baby like her.
I waited until he was 5 to have another. I always say, 'it's like a tattoo, you have to wait til you forget what it's like before you do it again.'

this baby seems a LOT easier. i keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.
post #16 of 16
In my house when the baby is awake he is with someone and not laying there by himself. I believe babies learn by seeing what is going on around them and by interacting in their environment so we encourage that. I might not always be "playing" with him, but I am talking to him all the time. In fact when I go grocery shopping if he is awake I will talk to him, show him the groceries and will say things like "we are getting apples Brennan - look at the pretty red apples mommy got." People look at me like I am nuts, but I have done it with all 9 of the kids.
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